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Can my ex claim back maintenance?

145 replies

ConfusedCarrie · 06/05/2021 21:32

My DS is 10. His DF left in 2013. When he left, he contacted the CSA and told me he would voluntarily pay me £350 per month. I have no idea what he earned. He did say that he had rounded it up to make it a better number. By how much, I don't know. FF to 2021 and I am struggling financially. My hours have been cut drastically and my DS has outgrown all his clothes and I have our mortgage to pay. I asked if ExH would just consider an increase in his maintenance. He said he couldn't afford to, he's struggling financially because of Covid (he's a keyworker so no change in wages and he has no mortgage or rent). He says he has been in contact with the CMS and he has been overpaying me, I'm entitled to £210 per month. The CMS have said he can claim back all the money he has over paid.
YABU - of course I should pay it back, I wasn't entitled to it.
YANBU - he knowingly and voluntarily overpaid so I should not have to pay to back.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

dalrympy · 06/05/2021 21:35

No way should you pay it back!

If he has to reduce it then so be it. But he doesn't get back what he voluntarily paid.


PlanDeRaccordement · 06/05/2021 21:49

I agree, you shouldn’t have to pay back what he has already been voluntarily sending you. Also, even if you trust him regarding the CMS £210 “new” amount, still verify that yourself with CMS. I have my doubts that it’s dropped from £350 to £210 from 2013 to 2021 with no change in wages. (Unlikely that is true. He has to have had some pay rise in past 8 years).


NeilBuchananisBanksy · 06/05/2021 21:49

He's bullshitting. CMS wouldn't say that. I'd bet your bottom dollar that he'd have to pay more via CMS and is trying to frighten you.


Crazycatlady83 · 06/05/2021 21:53

No way the CMS would say this. The law specifically provides and encourages parents to make their own arrangements regarding maintenance which often is above the statutory minimum (which he now wants to pay)

There is no mechanism in law for him to seek an “rebate” because he thinks he has overpaid.


SaltAndVinegarSandwiches · 06/05/2021 21:53


He's bullshitting. CMS wouldn't say that. I'd bet your bottom dollar that he'd have to pay more via CMS and is trying to frighten you.

Exactly this. Of course he doesn't have to pay back what he voluntarily paid. If you lied to CMS about your own circumstances to defraud him of money that would be different. TO be honest £350 sounds like a minimal amount if he's working full time and has no mortgage or rent.

Oswin · 06/05/2021 21:54

He is lying. They absolutely did not say that. If I was you I would set up an official claim with them.


Happycat1212 · 06/05/2021 21:54

I don’t think they can make you pay it back but I wouldn’t have rocked the boat and asked for more, £350 a month for one child is a lot! I get £30 a month for 4 😏


AnneLovesGilbert · 06/05/2021 21:57

I doubt CMS said that. He picked that number himself so he’s laughing asking for a refund.


LaurieFairyCake · 06/05/2021 22:05

Go through CMS

You won't have to pay anything back


mainsfed · 06/05/2021 22:05

Offer 1p per week.


TaraR2020 · 06/05/2021 22:08

I seem to remember my df saying he could claim back maintenance - around the time I turned 18 - freaked me out a bit tbh and I wasn't sure how to feel about it. I was left with the impression though that anything he was entitled back to came from the csa and not my dm.

So in short I agree with pp, but he may not be completely making it up (?)


LaMontser · 06/05/2021 23:10

No lol. He can try but it’s bollocks. If he had been underpaying you CMS also couldn’t force him to backdate a higher amount further than I think a couple of months. Check the cms calculator to make sure he’s not bullshitting the amount. If he’s public sector and you know his job title you can probably google for his pay scale.


GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing · 06/05/2021 23:16

I’m fairly sure you can’t be asked to pay it back.


3scape · 06/05/2021 23:19

He made a voluntary arrangement. This isn't a miscalculation by the CSA this was a choice he made. I can't see how the CSA could enforce a repayment - they weren't invol ed.


Stompythedinosaur · 06/05/2021 23:24

I think he is bullshitting.


OnlyInYourDreams · 06/05/2021 23:28

I don’t think they can make you pay it back but I wouldn’t have rocked the boat and asked for more, £350 a month for one child is a lot! I get £30 a month for 4 😏 it’s not a race to the bottom. If you have issue with how much you get paid then that’s presumably between you and your ex and the CMS to work out. Just because the OP gets more than you doesn’t make her wrong, and it may well not be a lot compared to what he’s earning. It’s all relative.


RachelRaven · 06/05/2021 23:30

What a prince. And do not take his word for it either. Check the numbers yourself.


Happycat1212 · 06/05/2021 23:35

Just saying it’s not always good to rock the boat as you can end up getting less, and although he may be lying about the paying back he is probably right that he has been over paying


WhatWouldPhyllisCraneDo · 06/05/2021 23:42

My ex told me the same. Apparently the CMS told him he had been overpaying and I owed him. He told me if I didn't go through the CMS and accepted the new lower payment He was offering that I wouldn't have to pay it back, but that if I continued with the CMS they would "make" me pay it back.
I phoned them. He was lying and just trying to manipulate me into accepting less. Fucker.


Lachimolala · 06/05/2021 23:46

You won’t have to pay it back, he’s lying. Double check on that maintenance amount though £210 isn’t very much.


LittleMousewithcloggson · 07/05/2021 01:14

My DH was overpaying maintenance to his ex considerably (his choice)
When he was made redundant his new job paid much less and he needed to reduce it by 25%
Ex said no way and took him to court as amount was in their divorce settlement. He went to child support agency which can over ride a personal agreement and even a court agreement and they cut the amount he had to pay monthly by 80% which the courts approved immediately.
Court said he had been very very generous in the past which was his decision to do as a father but was now choosing to follow the CSA guidelines which he was entitled to do. It started from the day it was assessed.
A personal agreement for maintenance is not regarded as an overpayment at all. What you have had you keep. However he can start only paying the amount of child support he legally has to at any time. I would check he’s paying the right amount though!


JustLyra · 07/05/2021 01:41

He’s talking shite. Cms have zero interest in anything happens before the day the claim is open.

He’s absolutely bluffing. I’d tell him you’ll speak to CMS and they can clarify while they’re setting the case up. Guarantee you he’ll suggest a private arrangement to “protect” you from having to pay it back.


BoomBoomsCousin · 07/05/2021 01:46

He can't claim the money back from you and CMS won't have told him he can, so he's lying about that. Likely lying about how much the CMS calculation is too.

According to the government calculator, assuming no other children and that he doesn't have DS stay overnight, he'd have to be earning around 21k to owe you 210 a month. If DS stays with him 1-2 nights a week then 25k (in which case he should certainly be contributing to clothing, etc.).

What's his line of work? Does that sound likely?


sumpplneedshaking · 07/05/2021 02:05

Stop believing his lies and contact cms yourself and arrange maintenance to be collected from his wages if he is being difficult.


Dogscanteatonions · 07/05/2021 02:51

He is absolutely lying. It's not an 'overpayment' it was a voluntary arrangement - even if he decided to give you 100% of his wages it wouldn't be an 'overpayment'' what he decided to give you was his own lookout.

I'd now be very very dubious about what he says he should pay. Can you Google his job and company he works for ,- you might be able to find out an idea of his wages. It simply let CSA deal - but instigate yourself, don't trust what he says

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